September 26, 2017

Politics and Political Blogs

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Whatever your political persuasion — right, left, or center — the blogosphere is a great place for bloggers to share their political views and make plenty of friends and enemies. We try to follow the conservative, liberal, and everything in between of politics and political blogs/blogging — but only when it intersects with business blogging.

Have a read below of our latest entries on politics and political blogging…

Need More Time to Blog? Here’s Your Answer!

Do you ever feel like no matter how well you plan your day, you never seem to finish all of your scheduled tasks, including all the blogging you wanted to do? I know I do! There is an answer! …it’s “GTD” (Getting Things Done), a time management, or more appropriately, life management methodology developed by best-selling author David Allen. This methodology is outlined in great detail in one of my favorite books, Getting Things Done.

Recently I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down for a fascinating discussion with David Allen; that discussion is available for download as an MP3, or just hit the Play button below:

I’m a big fan of David’s, having attended one of his workshops in Chicago last year. I’ve written before about how GTD works, but this interview goes into some of the areas I struggle with the most. David gave me some excellent answers on how to…

  • eliminate time-stealing distractions,
  • how avoidance affects success,
  • how crisis negatively impacts your ability to think intelligently,
  • how sometimes waiting until the last minute is the best way to get things done,
  • the importance of emptying your email inbox,
  • the usefulness of virtual assistants,
  • and how the biggest barrier to self-expression and self-actualization is our own selves.
  • “You can’t manage time,” David said. “You actually only manage what you do during time. So the management issue is not so much about time, it’s more about how you manage your focus, how you manage your actions and your activities in terms of what you do. That’s one of the problems with that whole field of time management — they mislabel the problem. Because they label the problem as time, everyone thinks that the calendar is going to be your solution, and it isn’t.”

    In a deadline-driven, time-sensitive, stress-filled world, having the right strategies to deal with your blogging and all your other responsibilities is essential to avoiding burnout and remaining permanently productive. With some elements of your professional life, David’s advice is simple to apply, such as merely paying attention to what has your attention. With other things, you may find yourself facing off against tightly-held, self-destructive habits and behaviors that will prove difficult to disown.

Is Your Monitor Size Holding You Back?

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Bloggers are information workers. And information workers need a big screen monitor — and/or multiple monitors — to be optimally productive. The Wall Street Journal blog recently posted about a study by the University of Utah that found that folks using a 24-inch screen completed tasks 52% faster than those with an 18-inch screen. And folks using two 20-inch screens completed tasks 44% faster than those with an 18-inch screen. So size (and quantity) really does matter. This conclusion was affirmed by most of the commenters to that WSJ post.

So… what monitor size are you blogging with? And are you using two monitors, or just one? That one single small monitor you’re using for blogging is holding you back!

According to a Google employee who commented, Google engineers get to choose between a single 30-inch HP LCD or two 24-inch monitors, and employees in other departments get one 24-inch.

My office setup is 3 screens — my MacBook Pro laptop screen which is 15-inch, a secondary, 17-inch monitor plugged into my laptop, and an iMac with a 17-inch built-in display. The iMac and my MacBook Pro are set up to both use the same keyboard and mouse. To accomplish this, I use a free software program called Synergy. It is amazing! I can move my cursor across the three screens with one long swipe of my mouse. I can copy text on my iMac and paste it onto my laptop, and vice versa.

When I went from one screen to three screens, I definitely saw a productivity benefit across many activities, including email, blogging, article writing, and Powerpoint creation. Right now as I write this post, I have the “Write Post” screen on one display and the Wall Street Journal post open on another display. It makes it so much easier when I want to quote or reference bits from the WSJ.

Another interesting point that another commenter to the WSJ post made was that monitor size was a criterion he used in evaluating potential employers. He called it an “environment factor.” That was really good insight. We at Netconcepts are in the process of trying to fill 11 open positions. Seeing workstations configured with awesome monitors could very well influence a candidate’s decision to come work at Netconcepts.

 

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